Vikes find redemption with big win over Thunderbirds


By Ali Lee, 

VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s field hockey team wrapped up their Canada West season with a big win over the visiting UBC Thunderbirds on Oct. 12. Amanda Kurianowicz scored two goals as the Vikes downed the reigning national champions 4-1 to finish the season with a 5-1-2 record.

Following yesterday’s 3-1 loss to UBC, the Vikes turned the table and scored three second-half goals to finish in good positioning to top the conference. Rookie midfielder Jenna Dhillon got the Vikes off to a good start scoring in the 11th minute. Forward Kurianowicz scored her sixth and seventh goals of the season two minutes apart, while Kathleen Leahy notched her first of the season in the 68th minute.

UBC’s Hannah Haughn tied the game 1-1 in the 58th minute but that was the only tally for the T-Birds. Lauren Logush made several big saves in the first half but could not hold off the Vikes, leaving the Thunderbirds with a 3-1-2 record, still with two games to go.

“Today we really worked the ball well and I believe that if we can understand how to get it done collectively then we are going to have a lot of success going forward,” said Vikes head coach Lynne Beecroft. “We wore them down and we could substitute the girls on and off quickly so we always seemed quite fresh.”

Today’s match up was similar to yesterday in that Victoria maintained the majority of the first half possession. The Thunderbirds hardly penetrated the Victoria 25-yard area but Dhillon’s opening goal was the difference on the day. The St. Michael’s University School grad traversed across the top of the circle and unleashed a shot off her back foot that beat Logush low in the corner.

The Vikes enjoyed the 1-0 cushion entering the break but knew the T-Birds were capable of turning the momentum. Former Canada West Rookie of the Year and island native Sarah Keglowitsch sparked most of the two-way play the Thunderbirds were hoping to bring on the day. Tied in with the distribution of Rachel Donohoe and Poonam Sandhu, the Thunderbirds were able to come back to tie the game.

A Vikes turnover led to a loose ball in the circle and Haughn was there to put one past keeper Sheriden Goodmanson to tie the game at one with 12 minutes to go. Haughn is second in the Canada West in scoring, now with four goals.

Unlike yesterday’s 10 minute lull where the T-Birds capitalized three times, the Vikes had the tides turned in their favour. Conference leading scorer Kurianowicz potted two goals two minutes a part. Rosie Beale sent a long ball down the left side for the speedy Kurianowicz to pick up and drive the baseline with. The Alberta native beat Logush from a short angle for her first goal and followed it up with a shot from the top of the circle to net her second and give the Vikes a 3-1 lead.

Veteran midfielder Leahy added a security goal picking up a long ball that somehow beat the entire UBC back line. Leahy drove the circle from 40 yards out without any pressure but she was quickly challenged by Logush. The rebounding ball was then batted out of the air and into the goal by Leahy and served as the fourth and final goal for the Vikes.

“It really looked magical out there,” added Beecroft. “It was a similar start to yesterday but then Jenna scored that beautiful goal early on. I really think the team went home (after yesterday’s loss) and reflected on what they could learn. We need the tough times in order to get better.”

The game ended 4-1 for the Vikes, who will now prepare for the CIS national championship, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Toronto, Ont. The T-Birds have two remaining games next weekend, Oct. 18-19, in Vancouver against the winless Calgary Dinos. UBC will be on the hunt for their fourth-consecutive and 16th overall CIS title, while the Vikes will be looking to earn their 12th overall national title and first since 2008.

UBC: 0 – 1 : 1
UVIC: 1– 3 : 4

UBC: Hannah Haughn (58′)
UVIC: Jenna Dhillon (11′), Amanda Kurianowicz (63′, 65′), Kathleen Leahy (68′)

UBC: Lauren Logush, 70 MP, 4 GA
UVIC: Sheriden Goodmanson, 70 MP, 1 GA